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Startup Programs Design & Management: Part II - How to Reach Good Startups?

We had started a series of posts that will turn into a playbook on managing acceleration, open innovation, scouting, and incubation programs for startups in companies or technoparks. For those who missed the first post, here's a link -> Click


It might sound harsh to say, but let's not shy away from stating it:

Average ventures yield average results, and ordinary ventures yield ordinary outcomes.

If you want to contribute to your company's innovation potential or your Technopark's ecosystem, you should be attracting 'good startups' to your program. What constitutes a 'good startup' is a topic for another article, but for now, let's focus on how we can reach and attract good startups.



At the start of program management, pipeline development & outreach activities are conducted. In Turkey, these activities are far from systematic; they often don't go beyond announcing through social media and email, lacking a playbook or planned approach. Ideally, it should be the opposite; systematically planning who announces what, through which channel, with what kind of content, and when. According to the Global Accelerator Report (GAN) 2022, the source of applications for accelerators globally in terms of tool efficiency is as follows:


  1. Individual scouting efforts by the program team (18%)

  2. Social media announcements by partners (15%)

  3. Recommendations by alumni (12%)

  4. Email announcements (11%)

  5. Mentor recommendations (5%)

  6. Social media accounts of the program and other media announcements (4%)

When looking at the source of accepted startups into the program, the picture is very similar:


  1. Individual scouting efforts by the program team (23%)

  2. Social media announcements by partners (16%)

  3. Recommendations by alumni (16%)

  4. Email announcements (7%)

  5. Mentor recommendations (6%)

  6. Social media accounts of the program and other media announcements (3%)


In short, about 70% of the applications and accepted startups come from the top five outreach efforts mentioned above.

The practice in Turkey is focused on the least effective channel, planning outreach around their social media accounts and other media announcements. Ironically, for programs that claim to instill efficiency and metric-based actions (KPI-based actions) in startups, this is a mismatch!


It's clear what we need to focus on to find good startups; in the next post, "How to Strategically Plan & Manage Systematic Outreach for a Startup Program?" we will share suggestions and a roadmap that can answer this question.

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